The Discover it cashback credit card is a great choice for saving money on everyday spending because you get 1 percent back on everything you buy. It also has quarterly bonus categories that can earn cardholders up to 5 percent. If you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping yet, there’s still time this year to earn that fourth quarter bonus on Amazon and Target purchases.
Discover’s full rewards calendar for next year has also been released and includes more general categories, with Amazon being the only actual retailer named. Target is off the list for 2019, as well as home improvement stores and ground transportation, but wholesale clubs earn bonuses in the first and fourth quarters.
With 5 percent cash back on purchases and Discover’s automatic cashback match at the end of your first year as a cardmember, you’ll be able to reap a total of 10 percent back on category purchases.
Below is the quarterly calendar including details on what purchases are included and how to maximize your savings.
The Discover it Card’s 2019 Cashback Calendar
- January to March 2019: Grocery stores
- April to June 2019: Gas stations, Uber and Lyft
- July to September 2019: Restaurants
- October to December 2019: Amazon.com
Earn Cash Back Every Quarter
With 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter and Discover’s automatic cashback match, card members can earn up to $300 per quarter, or $1,200 per year. And there is no annual fee. All other purchases earn 1 percent cash back. When combined with the other cash-saving tips below, there are endless opportunities to save.
Your rewards will never expire and can be redeemed at any time. The card also offers 0% APR for 14 months on all purchases and balance transfers. To receive 5 percent cash back, you must activate the bonus each quarter.
How to Activate the 5 Percent Rewards Categories
Activation can be done up to two months in advance of the new quarter through your Discover card account. Log in to your account and click on Rewards. Then select “5 Percent Cashback Bonus” from the dropdown menu, choose the corresponding quarter and press activate. All rewards will show up at the end of the credit card billing cycle and can be redeemed in the form of a deposit in your bank account, a statement credit toward your bill, Amazon.com credits or gift cards.
January to March 2019
Earn 5% at Grocery Stores
For the first quarter of 2019, register your Discover it card to save 5% at grocery stores such as Giant, Harris Teeter, Trader Joe’s, Wegman’s and more. With New Year’s Resolutions in place, it is time to eat better and get healthy. You can earn 5 percent cash back on all grocery purchases. Put these savings towards your emergency fund or to pay down your debt to an extra kick to start the year.
Remember that you can also buy gift cards for many of your favorite retailers at the grocery store. This is one my favorite hacks to save 5 percent on stores that otherwise don’t qualify for bonus rewards or cash back. Please note that grocery stores exclude purchases made at Walmart and Target.
If you max out the $1,500 in purchases to earn 5 percent cash back at grocery stores with the Discover it card, here’s another suggestion. The Capital One Savor card provides an unlimited 2 percent cash back for grocery store purchases. And, for those times when you go out, the Savor card also offers an unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment.
April to June 2019
Earn 5% at Gas Stations, Uber, and Lyft
Just in time for Spring Break, Memorial Weekend, and the beginning of summer, this quarter is all about transportation. Whether you’re filling up your car for a road trip or using Uber and Lyft to get around, you’ll be saving 5 percent this quarter at gas stations, Uber, and Lyft.
If you use ridesharing services all year long, consider topping off your account with credits to max out the $1,500 in eligible purchases you can make this quarter.
Some gas stations also offer pre-paid gas cards and gift cards for other retailers. This is another excellent option to maxing out the 5 percent cash back bonus.
For cardholders that max out their 5 percent, use a flexible rewards card like the Capital One Venture card that earns 2 percent back on all purchases. Best of all, you can use those rewards for flights or hotel reservations with no blackout dates.
July to September 2019
Earn 5% at Restaurants
Enjoy the summer with 5 percent cash back at all restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, and fast food locations. Whether you’re treating yourself to a date night or grabbing a bagel and coffee on your way to work, you can earn bonus cash rewards.
Once you’ve maxed out the $1,500 in purchases this quarter, the Capital One Savor card is the perfect card for you. It offers an unlimited 4 percent cash back on all dining and entertainment. This card was made for foodies and people who love to have fun.
October to December 2019
Earn 5% at Amazon.com
Amazon.com is the king of holiday shopping. Discover it wants to help you snag all of the deals with 5 percent cash back on all purchases made at Amazon.com.
After you’ve maxed out your $1,500 in purchases on Black Friday and holiday deals, the Citibank AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard is an excellent option.
With the sign-up bonus, you’ll earn a lot of airline miles towards your next vacation. Since you’re buying gifts for everyone else, wouldn’t a free vacation be the perfect gift for yourself?
How to Maximize Your Rewards
To maximize your rewards, avoid using tap and pay or virtual wallets. Using your Discover it card either online or at a card reader will ensure that you get the rewards you deserve.
Watch for Amazon’s Lightning Deals, which are offered to Prime members 30 minutes earlier than other customers. You can also use your Discover it card at the Amazon Outlet, which has lower priced and overstocked items.
If you use this rewards tool, you can reap even more savings. Simply search for a store name (e.g. Target) to combine their online cashback offerings with the Discover it card.
When you shop online at Target.com, you will get free shipping on orders of $35 or more. The Cartwheel app also offers extra savings, including printable coupons and weekly ads.
Other Cards to Consider
Chase Freedom Unlimited: With this card, after you spend $500 in the first three months, you will get a $150 bonus. All purchases earn 1.5 percent cash back, and there is no minimum to redeem. There is no annual fee, and card members get 0% APR for the first 15 months. To maximize savings, you can pair this card with the Chase Sapphire Preferred and redeem for more lucrative travel rewards.